Response to: Scotland’s Pavement Parking Prohibitions – Consultation on Pre-Implementation Directions and Regulations for Local Authorities

Purpose of this Consultation

This consultation focuses on the work that needs to be undertaken in advance of the pavement parking prohibition being brought into force. This consultation will consider matters including the type of streets and pavements that can have an exemption from the national pavement parking prohibition and the procedures that must be followed to allow for such exemption.

MACS Response

MACS welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation. The majority of this consultation relates to process and procedure. Therefore, MACS focus is in relation to question 1: 'Do you agree or disagree with the proposed characteristics that would allow local authorities to consider an exemption order for the pavement parking prohibition? Please be specific as possible in your reasoning.'

  • MACS disagrees with this and there should be no exemption orders for pavement parking.
  • The pavement parking prohibition as outlined is a national ban on pavement parking. Therefore this should be a national ban and Local Authorities should not have an ability to impose exemptions. This will undermine the whole purpose and therefore there should be no exemption orders. Pavements are for people not vehicles with the interests of all pedestrians, especially disabled pedestrians, should be paramount.
  • MACS would also refer to the underlying drivers of the sustainable transport hierarchy and 20 minute neighbourhoods as Scottish Government policies and Programme for Government commitments that would run in conflict, create policy tensions and the impact of which would be diluted or harder to achieve should exemptions be considered by local authorities.
  • The pavement parking ban could also be an assist in progressing the 20% reduction in car kilometres by 2030 route map i.e. not so easy to park locally then leave the car behind for those that can.
  • The two main characteristics outlined to be considered for an exemption order reinforces the need for no exemptions. In relation to the footway is of sufficient width this is open to interpretation. This would leave a council powerless to intervene should a pavement be obstructed, even it it appears that the pavement is wide enough to accommodate pavement parking. The second characteristic in relation to an emergency vehicle not being able to pass due to the narrow street width then there should be a ban on parking on this street altogether. We would question who and how these exemptions would be enforced and monitored.
  • MACS have raised concerns in relation to the lag time it is taken to moving from the legislation being passed in 2019 to the current timescale for implementation being 2023. Therefore a zero exemption policy would permit a quicker implementation period.
  • If exemption orders are allowable then it is vital that Councils act under their obligations under the Equality Act 2010. In the document it says that “local authorities will be required to consider their obligations under the Equality Act” and there is no mention of Equality Impact Assessments in the flow chart process. Therefore is will be important that Councils act and not consider their obligations under the Equality Act and that any exemption orders will have to be backed up by an Equality Impact Assessment with a meaningful consultation process. Councils must also be cognisant of their Public Sector Equality Duty and Scotland Specific Duties.
  • As above, the pavement parking prohibition will assist with other Scottish Government policy areas such as increasing active travel, the sustainable transport hierarchy, reducing car miles by 20% and 20 minute neighbourhoods.
  • Rather than focusing on exemption orders the major focus should be on how Councils are going to enforce the ban. Without meaningful enforcement then any pavement parking prevention will be worthless. The concern is that currently there are a number of Councils who do not have their own decriminalised parking enforcement in place and that the proper resources have to be in place.

There are real concerns in relation to exemption orders among disabled people. From a poll conducted by Disability Equality Scotland (DES) of its members in February 2022, 95% (from 1,013 respondents) stated that they do not agree with the conditions that would allow local authorities to consider making certain streets exempt from the pavement parking ban. This is one of the highest ever responses to a DES poll.

Some of the comments from respondents include:

I do not agree with exemption for pavement parking, once you introduce exemptions, it makes it unclear as to where people can legally park on the pavement which will make it confusing, resulting in a greater number of people just parking on the pavement thinking that they can. This will only result in continued obstruction of the footpaths whether wide enough or not.
We have waited a long time for this ban, so let’s get it right. To do so we need councils working closely with disabled people.